After Servers Crash, FCC Extends Deadline for Public Comments

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A Net neutrality protest. (Photo: Free Press)

(Photo: Free Press CC 2.5)

So swamped was the FCC’s website yesterday, the cutoff date for the first round of public comments on proposed rules for Net neutrality, they’ve extended the deadline until midnight, Friday, July 18.

Craig Aaron, president of the media reform group Free Press, writes, “By the end of the day on July 15, the FCC had received more than 780,000 public comments on its Net neutrality-killing proposal — a huge number that would have been much higher if the agency’s site hadn’t broken down repeatedly.”

FCC claims that the high number of comments have not exceeded those received after Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl are a trope that has been gleefully embraced by many media outlets, but it’s incorrect, according to Aaron, because “…within those 780,000 Net Neutrality comments the FCC has already posted are petitions signed by millions of individuals.”

He adds, “This week’s deadline is just the first round. The FCC welcomes reply comments until September. And the public can and should keep weighing in until the agency actually votes on new rules, which isn’t expected to happen until November or December at the earliest.

“Here’s the bottom line: By any measure, this marks the greatest public response to any rulemaking in the FCC’s history. And the Battle for the Net is just getting started.”

Email the FCC at [email protected]. Or follow some of the steps below:

Additional Resources

» File your public comment using this handy form from Common Cause.

» Save the Internet has a sample script, an email petition and instructions on how to call Wheeler and request that the chairman abandon his proposal.

» There are a number of other organizations that are working on maintaining Net neutrality, including: AccessCREDO ActionDemand ProgressFight for the FutureFree PressOpen Technology InstitutePublic KnowledgeVoices for Internet Freedom

Michael Winship is the Schumann Senior Writing Fellow for Common Dreams. Previously, he was the Emmy Award-winning senior writer for Moyers & Company and, a past senior writing fellow at the policy and advocacy group Demos, and former president of the Writers Guild of America East. Follow him on Twitter: @MichaelWinship.
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